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Geoffrey Chaucer, The Cook's Prologue (Forrest Hainline's Minimalist Translation)

Geoffrey Chaucer, The Cook's Prologue (Forrest Hainline's Minimalist Translation)

4325 The Cook of London, while the Reeve spak,
4326 For joy he thought he clawed him on the back.
4327 "Ha! ha! " said he, "For Christ's passion,
4328 This miller had a sharp conclusion
4329 Upon his argument of harborage!
4330 Well said Salomon in his language,
4331 ‘Ne bring not every man into thy house, '
4332 For harborage by night is perilous.
4333 Well ought a man advised for to be
4334 Whom that he brought into his privity.
4335 I pray to God, so give me sorrow and care
4336 If ever, since I was called Hodge of Ware,
4337 Heard I a miller better set at work.
4338 He had a jape of malice in the dark.
4339 But God forbid that we stop here;
4340 And therefore, if you vouchsafe to hear
4341 A tale of me, that am a poor man,
4342 I will you tell, as well as ever I can,
4343 A little jape that fell in our city."
4344 Our Host answered and said, "I grant it thee.
4345 Now tell on, Roger; look that it be good,
4346 For of many a pastry hast thou leten blood,
4347 And many a Jack of Dover hast thou sold
4348 That has been twice hot and twice cold.
4349 Of many a pilgrim hast thou Christ's curse,
4350 For of thy parsley yet they fare the worse,
4351 That they have eaten with thy subbed goose,
4352 For in thy shop is many a fly loose.
4353 Now tell on, gentle Roger by thy name.
4354 But yet I pray thee, be not wroth for game;
4355 A man may say full sooth in game and play."
4356 "Thou sayest full sooth, " said Roger, "by my faith!
4357 But ‘true play, bad play, ' as the Fleming says.
4358 And therefore, Harry Bailly, by thy faith,
4359 Be thou not wroth, ere we depart here,
4360 Thought that my tale be of an hosteller.
4361 But nonetheless I will not tell it yet;
4362 But ere we part, iwis, thou shalt be quit."
4363 And therewithal he laughed and made cheer,
4364 And said his tale, as you shall after hear.

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